Day 10: 18 August 2013: Part 2: Chang La to Tangtse

I had read somewhere that Chang La souvenir shop sold only K-top marked caps and merchandise. I thought to check and find out. One reason was also that I really wanted to get something which is hard to find. So I entered the shop and asked for Chang La cap. They said that it wasn’t available and all the merchandise were marked for Khardung La. I insisted them to again check and so they opened a metallic trunk and behold – they pulled out a Chang La cap! Got it for 150 bucks. 🙂

Having done that, we embarked on our onward journey, marked by presence of ice on road side and peaks, cloud and fog everywhere and of course running streams on the road. Some shots… (more…)

Day 9: 17 August 2013: Part 3: Deskit to Karu via Wari La

With the rains giving no reprieve, we decided to do something unthinkable… to proceed towards Karu crossing over Wari La during the evening.

Will we be able to reach Karu today going through a road less traversed and known to be difficult, driving through the unwanted part of the day? Stay tuned…

We started around 1530 from Deskit Gompa and decided to skip going back to the Deskit market for lunch. We’ll rather have something on the way as time is of essence now if we have to cross Wari La.

Sun playing games with the clouds (more…)

There are plans and then there are plans. We named our small group – Yayawar.

0. Yayawars

Little did we know that the name would tower upon the future of our trip. After all, if you have a firm plan and you follow it to the hilt, what’s being Yayawar in that? A Yayawar is the one who has no plans and no destinations… Ours was a solid plan, thanks to the guidance provided by various threads on various forums including Team-BHP, BCMT, DOW and HiVayKing, including that one of Tanveer and multiple reviews by HVK, all the destinations were marked and itinerary fixed. But only if the plans could remain…

Our plan was smashed and washed out by various factors, including bandh, curfew and breakdowns, got extended by 3 days, missed by quite a couple of destinations and we were literally forced to become Yayawars with no plans, no destinations, no dates…

And so it happened… the making of Yayawars

The Yayawars crossed these…

Zoji La Pass

Pass # 1. Zoji La Pass -Altitude 11649 Feet – The gateway to Ladakh, Highest point on Srinagar-Leh highway

Namik La

Pass # 2. Namik La Pass – Altitude 12198 Feet

Fotu La Pass

Pass # 3. Fotu La Pass – Altitude 13479 Feet

Khardung La Pass

Pass # 4. Khardung La Pass – Altitude 18379 Feet – World’s highest pass on highest motorable road (or claimed so!)

Wari La Pass

Pass # 5. Wari La Pass – Altitude 17300 Feet – Tough ascent from Agham side, challenge to the driver and the machine!

Chang La Pass

Pass # 6. Chang La Pass or the Mighty Chang La – Altitude 17586 Feet – World’s Third Highest Pass

Unnamed Pass

Pass # 7. An unnamed but peculiar pass between Merak and Chusul along Pangong Tso. Lots of Horns!!! And it’s not Polakang La.

Tanglang La Pass

Pass # 8. Tanglang La – Altitude 17582 Feet – World’s Second Highest Pass – Highest point on Manali Leh Highway

Lachlung La Pass

Pass # 9. Lachulung La – Altitude 16616 Feet

Nakee La Pass

Pass # 10. Nakee La – Altitude 15647 Feet

Baralacha La Pass

Pass # 11. Baralacha La – Altitude 16040 Feet

Rohtang Pass

Pass # 12. Rohtang Pass – Altitude 13051 Feet – Relatively low on elevation, but dreaded due to muck and slush



The Yayawars saw these…

Dal Lake

Dal Lake at night. The pic should have been dark, I guess!!

Zanskar-Indus Sangam

Zansakar Indus Sangam near Nimmoo

Tso Talk

Tso Talk – Much Before you reach Tangtse from Leh

Chagar Tso

Chagar Tso – en-route to Pangong, but no one stops in a tearing hurry to reach Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso

The “Three Idiots Lake” – The Pangong Tso – Saltwater lake at an altitude of 14270 Feet

Unnamed lake

Unnamed lake on return from Chusul to Tangtse route.

Suraj Taal

Suraj / Vishaal Taal near Baralacha La. Sweet water lake formed of glacial waters. Third highest in India and 21st highest lake in world. Source of Bhaga River.

Deepak Tal

Deepak Tal enroute to Baralahca La. Man made small lake.

Chandra Taal

Of course The Chandra Taal, situated at an altitude of 14100 Feet in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. The crescent beautiful lake has no visible glacial source!!!


The Yayawars were greeted by these…




Birdie.. which one is this?


Another birdie!


Yet another birdie!!!


entire group of birdies


Butterfly came looking for juice, we told them juicy stories 😉


Chicken – No! We didn’t bar-be-queued ’em! 🙂


Cow grazing in meadows


The poser doggie!


Doves met with a peace message…


The Ducks went crakalacking on meeting us!


The muttons (Oh Sorry! the Goats), just met and ran away. Their life was in danger…


Horses were plenty.. both wild and domesticated

The Ibex family came visiting...

The Ibex family came visiting…

k-la frog

The Khardung La frog remained stationary


The Kiangs were curious…


The marmots were cute…


The molluscs and jelly fish also said “Hi”…

snow leopard

Snow Leopard came meeting.. he was swift!!


The goats brought their kinsfolk – the Sheeps…


The native Yak also met us…

And so did the migrants.. the donkeys!

And so did the migrants.. the donkeys!

The Yayawars slept here…

Hotel Vivek

Jammu – Hotel Vivek

Trikuta Bhawan

Katra – Trikuta Bhawan

Hotel D'Zozila

Kargil – Hotel D’Zojila

Hotel Jorchung

Leh – Hotel Jorchung with good apricots and apples and homegrown veggies

Turtuk Holiday Camp

Turtuk – Turtuk Holiday Camp’s tented accomodation

Serthi JKTDC

Serthi / Sarkti / Sakti – JKTDC – avoid!!!

Padma Shop

Spangmik / Pangong – Padma Shop & Restaurant – good sunrise view!

Upshi Lodge

Upshi Lodge – The room where we stayed is at the far end, first floor.


HPTDC Chandrabhaga

Keylong – HPTDC Chandrabhaga – nice hotel and nice hospitality!

Chandratal - Jamaica's camp

Chandratal – Jamaica’s is the best!

Batal shelter

Batal – Our shelter for four nights. Windproof and comfy…

Batal -Chandra dhaba

Batal – The Chacha’s Chandra Dhaba – our shelter during the daytime…

On Tow Truck

Ummm… we did spent a night on the road, on this tow truck, after the descent from Rohtang, between Marhi and Gulaba. Courtsey – the truck driver #@#$%$#^@


The Yayawars went like this…

went loaded

Fully loaded we went!


Did this…

Got guts

We’ve got guts!

…and returned like this…

return pose

Notice any difference between the two car pics??


via of course the pic you saw earlier… yes! via the tow truck!!!

What a journey it had been! A great experience which we shall cherish forever…

More and details to follow…

P.S.: All the pics as of now are just resized and without any processing. The same will be replaced later.

Update: Added the Upshi Lodge pic. Courtsey: Tony.

Baba Nagarjun is the “Jan Kavi” of India. The original Yayawar, his writings are plain and straight.

The below poem seems to be fitting aptly to the trip to be undertaken…

अमल धवल गिरि के शिखरों पर,
बादल को घिरते देखा है।
छोटे-छोटे मोती जैसे
उसके शीतल तुहिन कणों को,
मानसरोवर के उन स्वर्णिम
कमलों पर गिरते देखा है,
बादलों को घिरते देखा है।

तुंग हिमालय के कंधों पर
छोटी बड़ी कई झीलें हैं,
उनके श्यामल नील सलिल में
समतल देशों से आ-आकर
पावस की ऊमस से आकुल
तिक्त-मधुर बिसतंतु खोजते
हँसों को तिरते देखा है।
बादल को घिरते देखा है।

ऋतु वसंत का सुप्रभात था
मंद-मंद था अनिल बह रहा
बालारुण की मृदु किरणों थीं
अगल-बगल स्वर्णाभ शिखर थे
एक दूसरे से विरहित हो
अलग-अलग रहकर ही जिनको
सारी रात बितानी होती,
निशा काल से चिर-अभिशापित
बेबस उस चकवा-चकई का
बंद हुआ क्रंदन, फिर उनमें
उस महान सरवर के तीरे
शैवालों की हरी दरी पर
प्रणय-कलह छिड़ते देखा है।
बादल को घिरते देखा है।

दुर्गम बर्फ़ानी घाटी में
शत-सहस्त्र फुट ऊँचाई पर
अलख नाभि से उठनेवाले
निज के ही उन्मादक परिमल –
के पीछे धावित हो-होकर
तरल तरुण कस्तूरी मृग को
अपने पर चिढ़ते देखा है,
बादल को घिरते देखा है।

कहाँ गया धनपति कुबेर वह
कहाँ गई उसकी वह अलका
नहीं ठिकाना कालिदास के
व्योम-प्रवाही गंगाजल का,
ढूँढ़ा बहुत परंतु लगा क्या
मेघदूत का पता कहीं पर,
कौन बताए वह छायामय
बरस पड़ा होगा न यहीं पर,
जाने दो, वह कवि-कल्पित था,
मैंने तो भीषण जाड़ों में
नभ-चुंबी कैलाश शीर्ष पर,
महामेघ को झंझानिल से
गरज-गरज भिड़ते देखा है,
बादल को घिरते देखा है।

शत-शत निर्झर-निर्झरणी कल
मुखरित देवदारू कानन में,
शोणित धवल भोज पत्रों से
छाई हुई कुटी के भीतर,
रंग-बिरंगे और सुगंधित
फूलों से कुंतल को साजे,
इंद्रनील की माला डाले
शंख-सरीखे सुघड़ गलों में,
कानों में कुवलय लटकाए,
शतदल लाल कमल वेणी में,
रजत-रचित मणि खचित कलामय
पान पात्र द्राक्षासव पूरित
रखे सामने अपने-अपने
लोहित चंदन की त्रिपुटी पर,
नरम निदाग बाल-कस्तूरी
मृगछालों पर पलथी मारे
मदिरारुण आँखों वाले उन
उन्मद किन्नर-किन्नरियों की
मृदुल मनोरम अँगुलियों को
वंशी पर फिरते देखा है,
बादल को घिरते देखा है।

– Baba Nagarjun